Dolphins Don’t View Tua as a ‘Slam Dunk Pick’, High on Justin Herbert [Report]

Dolphins don't view Tua Tagovailoa as a "Slam Dunk Pick', Justin Herbert rising

Getty Tua Tagovailoa of the Alabama Crimson Tide

The Miami Dolphins have seemingly been in the quarterback market ever since Dan Marino decided to hang up his cleats following the 1999 season. From Jay Fiedler to Ryan Tannehill and everyone in between them, numerous players have tried to stake a claim as Miami’s franchise-guy, yet all have failed.

The ‘Phins even acquired a former top-10 draft pick, Josh Rosen, this past offseason. He lasted three games as the team’s starter before being tossed aside for all-word journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Now, entering the 2020 NFL Draft, Miami is once again in the market for a quarterback. Good news for them, the quarterback they’ve reportedly been eyeing for years, Tua Tagovailoa, is there for the taking. However, it appears that the team could be having second thoughts.

Dolphins Reportedly Not Sold on Tua

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reported that the Dolphins don’t see Tua Tagovailoa as a “slam-dunk pick” and plan to go through a “process of vetting” him to determine whether he’s worthy of a top-five pick.

If true, that’s certainly a complete 180 from the type of reports that had been leaking out of Miami over the past few seasons. For instance, in an ESPN write-up dating back to January of 2019, three months prior to the 2019 NFL Draft, Adam Schefter reported that the Dolphins were already looking ahead to the 2020 NFL Draft in hopes that they could get their hands on a potential franchise signal-caller such as Tagovailoa.

Even before they hire Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores as their next head coach, the Dolphins already are thinking about rebuilding and trying to land one of the trumpeted quarterbacks from the class of 2020, which includes Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa… league sources told ESPN.

It is currently mid-February, which means all rumors and reports should likely be taken with a grain of salt as we begin to enter what has become known as “Draft Season.” This narrative could be put out there simply as a smokescreen, in hopes that teams won’t feel compelled to jump Miami in the draft if they hope to acquire Tagovailoa.

Yet, it could also be the Dolphins growing ever concerned with handing the keys to their franchise to a quarterback who, by many accounts, has been deemed injury-prone.

It’s worth noting that per the Sun Sentinal, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross did previously comment on Tagovailoa’s draft prospects and injury concerns ahead of this year’s Super Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium.

“I’ve been down there to see him. Tua is a great player. I just worry about his health.” Ross continued “The coaches really make the decisions on the draft choices. We have to look at what his health is and everything else and see what the alternatives are.”

Justin Herbert Rising Dolphins’ Draft Board

While the Dolphins could potentially be souring on Tua, Salguero also reported that the team has an “increasingly positive” view of Oregon’s Justin Herbert.

Herbert may not have the type of accolades that the National Champion Tagovailoa may carry. However, he does come in a much more prototypical package, standing at 6’6” and approximately 230 pounds. Herbert’s frame could be believed to better handle the pounding of 16- game regular season.

Herbert has all you look for in a potential franchise quarterback, he’s big, with a good arm, and he’s mobile. While he may lack accuracy from time to time, players like Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson have shown that athletic ability is more than enough to get you by in today’s NFL while continuing to grow as an elite passer.

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